JPL Robotics has been developing multiple adhesive mechanisms that enable robots to climb walls, stairs, and other obstacles. These adhesives include microspines, gecko-like adhesives, and electrostatic adhesives. Each works particularly well on particular surface types, but can be paired on a robot to enable it to climb a wide variety of surfaces. Each adhesive method is silent; the only sound that the robot makes is the soft noise of the DC motors. Palm sized platforms are especially exciting because of their inherent crash-proof behavior.
Aaron Parness - Jet Propulsion Laboratory